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Review by K. Austin Collins

American Utopia begins where David Byrne’s 2018 album of the same name ended: with the song “Here.” “Here is an area of great confusion,” the former Talking Heads singer declares from a steel-gray, uncluttered stage, a model brain aloft in his hand. He points to another region on the brain: “Here is a connection with the opposite side.”

Connection — and not only between opposites, but in the manner of a neural network or, to…

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Dick Johnson Is Dead

★★★★★

Review by K. Austin Collins

The title of Kirsten Johnson’s extraordinary new documentary, Dick Johnson Is Dead, is not a true statement — yet. Dick Johnson, the filmmaker’s beloved father, is not dead. Still, this oddly poignant and sneakily provocative movie, which is now streaming on Netflix, shows him dying any number of ways, twice, thrice … one starts to lose count after awhile. A trip down the stairs. An air conditioner falling on his head. A construction mishap involving…

White Riot

White Riot

★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

Review by David Fear

The guy with mask and the cape runs onstage, to the screams of thousands of people standing in Victoria Park on a characteristically brisk April day in 1978. He calls himself “Mr. Oligarchy,” but folks backstage — and some of the savvier people attending this outdoor concert — know him as Red Saunders. “This ain’t no Woodstock,” the gent tells the assembled Britons before him. “This is the carnival against the fucking Nazis!”

As Saunders himself…

Liked reviews

Mangrove

Mangrove

★★★★

Review by Eric Kohn

The dramatic story of the Mangrove Nine, when a group of Black British activists fought back against racist police raids in a tense series of courtroom showdowns, practically pitched itself as a movie when it unfolded in 1970. (They were acquitted of most charges, but the raids didn’t stop.) It only took 50 years, but writer-director Steve McQueen’s “Mangrove” works overtime to fill the gap, resulting in a delectable crowdpleaser both specific to its moment and relevant today.

by Peter Debruge

It took four movies before Lee Isaac Chung was ready to tell the kind of story first-timers so often rush to share straight out of the gate. Not a coming-of-age movie so much as a deeply personal and lovingly poetic rendering of his Korean American childhood — specifically, how it felt for his immigrant family to adjust to life in small-town Arkansas — “Minari” benefits from the maturity and perspective Chung brings to the project. Waiting until…